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Is this a good first lathes.

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Old 03-14-2012, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: corpus christi,tx
Posts: 816
Is this a good first lathes.

Will this lathe do every thing needed to chamber barrels true up actions
install muzzle brakes. It fit in my price range r is there something better out there in the same price range???? this will be my first lathe and it would be for personal use
G0709 14 X 40 Gunsmith's Gearhead Lathe
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bend, Oregon
Posts: 1,213
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

I would say it surely will do what you are looking to do. My thoughts are unless you plan to do it for profit this is the very most expensive way to get rifle work done. Labor is a small component of rifle work. By the time you get tooled up to do your own you could easily have a pile of very trick custom rifles. The lathe is just the start. If going pro is a consideration you should check your zoning for home occupation ability. Licensing could be an issue and renting space makes it harder to stay afloat. Look on the bright side, resale value on machine tools is not very good. Now if you got lots of money and just want to tinker then go for it. If you have that kind of money I would look to buy something nicer.
Build a man a fire and you heat him for a day.
Set him on fire and you heat him for life.

Only accurate rifles are interesting.

Gordy and Brady.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:45 PM
TTF TTF is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

That lathe is an excellent lathe. You may need to learn a little about lathes. As to get the tailstock to line up perfectly to the spindle you may need to spend some time working on it.

All newer lathes are now made in China or Taiwan, so your not going to get around that, and the good old lathes are pretty much worn out.

Hired Gun is right...the tooling will kill you. Not to mention gages; thread gages and ring gages will set you back almost $400 a set (that's per size). Then there are good quality indicators, range rods, bushing sets, it goes on and on. Then one leads to the next thing. Its like getting hooked on substances. The Lathe is only the gateway drug.
Templar Tactical Firearms
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

I'm a hobbyist with some prior lathe experience, but not enough confidence to seek out a good used lathe.

So, I bought the Grizzly G4003 and love it.

I've used the lathe to make numerous tools and jigs for truing actions etc.

Nonetheless, I have easily spent as much on tooling as on the lathe itself.

-- richard
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

All good posts, especially machine value after you buy it, it's basically worth 50% of sticker before you even power it up.

You are better off having the work done because learing to do it will cause you many heartaches.

There are still plenty of excellent American and German made machines out there that aren't worn out. Especially Hardridge and Monarch as far as lathes because both have replaceable ways. Wallowed out a bit, no problem, some clown chewed the ways under the chuck, no problem, somebody forgot way oil, no problem....

Speaking of chewing the ways under the chuck, that is probably the most common occurence of a newbie lathe hand, or leaving the chuck key in the chuck and powering up....... When I look at used machinery, thats the first place I look, under the spindle nose on a lathe and under the vise on a vertical mill.

Buying a lathe with basic accessories (like that one) is just the sidewalk leading to the house, the house of expensive tooling and measuring instruments and a whole raft of stuff that you probably don't know how to use and learning can be a devistating experience, especially when you euchre up your favorite gun, let alone doing something on a friend's gun and screwing that up......

I said long ago that woodworkers have it made, they just glue on a chunk of wood and refinish it when they screw up. Don't work with metal, at least not in a practical home shop machinist way.

I'd pay for someone experienced and if you want to make swarf, buy a mini lathe. You satisfy the craving to make swarf and nothing gets focked up and you aren't out a couple grand for something that will cause you ulcers.

That machine will work for basic gunsmithing but certainly not as advertised.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

Sidecarflip is correct.

Nonetheless, I have learned a lot with mine and have good results to suit myself.

I could easily have paid someone to build my rifles cheaper and possibly faster. Perhaps even better. But, I get a lot of satisfaction from my work and from teaching my son. He's now breaking 60mm clays with regularity at 500yds with a 6br we built together.

I would be very hesitant to work on someone else's rifle. If I choke on one of mine, that's a risk I'm willing to take.

-- richard
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Is this a good first lathes.

I guess the problem lies in the fact that most firearm owners don't have access to machines or the knowledge to modify a firearm to the benefit of that firearm or to cusromize it for a particular need (or want)...

and, they find out you have a lathe or a mill or both and all of a sudden you get diluged with people wanting you to do this and that because they can't or because they want it but really don't want to pay the going rate (from a qualified smith) to get it done, so.....

You have to say no because of the liability standpoint and if you bugger up someone else's firearm, that makes them unhappy, very unhappy.

I belong to a local club and all the members know I have a shop and what I make and I get asked all the time and all the time it's the same answer. No.-

Nothing internal, no trigger stuff (It's the holy grail of shooters... looking for that oh so light trigger pull but for cheap and it don't happen for cheap). Never has, never will. I'll do rails and mounts and brakes (if you are a good friend, that is), but nothing else...... Unless you are a paying (my shop rate and sign a hold harmless for me).

I've built some neat stuff for paying customers in the past, key word is customers. Not club buddies, not the guy across the road, not any relatives, customers, paying customers.

Always better to cut 'freinds off at the knees' right away. Keeps you out of trouble.

Nothing worse than buggering up a 'friends' gun. Makes an instant enemy.

If you get the Grizz, stick to buggering your own stuff up. You'll be better off.

And, trust me, you WILL bugger stuff up. Thats how it works. Why I have a scrap can, broken cutting tools anda few holes in the drywall (never loose your temper and cold cock a machine). It breaks bones and the machine feels nothing......lol
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